Five months after Santa Fe took delivery of its first new
Super Fleet diesels, the GP60M from EMD, the new GE units, the Dash 8-40BW began showing up on the property.
Like the earlier Dash 8-40Bs, the Dash 8-40BWs are 4,000HP locomotives with 81:22, and outweigh the GP60Ms, weighing at 289,000 pounds.
The first two, 503 and 505, arrived on October 12, 1990, and left Chicago on 1-198-12 for Los Angeles.
Santa Fe took delivery of the Dash 8-40BWs faster than GE could paint the complex and time consuming Super Fleet red
and silver paint scheme. Santa Fe agreed to paint 12 of the new units at Topeka, KS, which were shipped from GE's Erie Plant in Primer.
Again in the latter part of 1991, Santa Fe again turned to GE for additional Dash 8-40BWs - 23 to be exact. The delivery of this second
batch of Dash 8-40BWs began in March 1992, and the first one, 561, arrived on March 2, 1992. During this order, the odd-numbered units were built
first, followed by the even-numbered units. This was done because the even-numbered locomotives are equipped with event recorders. This entire second order of
locomotives was set up at Argentine Yard, and not at Corwith Yard, as had been the standard for many years.
All of the Dash 8-40BWs built continue to serve to this day, except for two units, 531, which was wrecked at Tejon, NM in December 1995,
and 576, which was wrecked on Cajon Pass in December 1994. 519 was wrecked in Niota, IL, however has been rebuilt. 557 has been wrecked at
Tejan, NM in December 1995, however has also been rebuilt. 580 has been the first unit to be painted into the new
BNSF Premium Heritage paint scheme.
An interesting bit of trivia surround the Dash 8-40BW. Santa Fe had wanted this second batch to be cabless boosters, similar
to the GP60B, however GE told Santa Fe the cost of retooling for a cabless unit would be too high, and Santa Fe agreed to accept the units
with the safety cab.